St Brigid's break Ballymun hearts with late score

St Brigid's break Ballymun hearts with late score
Karol Mannion celebrates goal

St Brigid's (Roscommon) 2-11 Ballymun Kickhams (Dublin) 2-10

St Brigid's, Roscommon delivered their first AIB All-Ireland Club SFC title in dramatic circumstances after Frankie Dolan snatched a 61st-minute winner before 28,928 spectators at Croke Park this afternoon.

Eight points in arrears after just seven minutes, Brigid's gave a stirring second half display, with the sides tied on four occasions in the closing 30 minutes, before Dolan bagged the decisive score.

First time finalists Ballymun Kickhams looked hungrier in the opening stages and led by 2-2 to 0-1 in the seventh minute, with Philly McMahon and Dean Rock bagging goals inside 90 seconds.

Brigid's worked hard with Senan Kilbride firing their first goal after 11 minutes, after the full-forward slid the ball to the net past Ballymun Kickhams goalkeeper Sean Currie.

This cut the gap to five points, but Ballymun continued to work hard, with Jason Whelan firing a 12th-minute point.

Brigid's bagged four of the next five scores, with Richard Blaine, Frankie Dolan and Karol Mannion helping to leave just a goal between the sides in first half injury time.

However, Ballymun edged a four-point lead at the break with a Ted Furman point ensuring a 2-6 to 1-5 interval score-line.

Rock and Kilbride traded points inside the opening four minutes of the second half, but the Roscommon side found that extra bit of pressure required in the closing 30 minutes.

Brigid's kept motoring and were rewarded for their efforts in the 37th minute, after a ball was sent in from the wing on the Cusack Stand side, with Ballymun defender Enda Dolan failing to control possession and Karol Mannion slotting the ball to the net.

This levelled the tie at 2-7 apiece, but Ballymun led by a point after 41 minutes following a James Burke score.

Brigid's took a 2-9 to 2-8 lead following well taken scores from Frankie Dolan and Darragh Donnelly, but Ballymun level the tie for the fourth time, following an excellent Whelan point.

However, Ballymun were squandering chances at this stage with Whelan's effort to push his side ahead in the 56th minute proving fruitless as Kickhams wides tally came to 11 at that stage.

Brigid's piled the pressure on late on, but a Damien Kelleher effort finished in the hands of Ballymun keeper Currie on the stroke of the 60th minute.

Ballymun left shell-shocked after Frankie Dolan delivered the winning score, with referee Paudie Hughes signalling the full-time whistle soon after.

After the game, St. Brigid's co-captains Gearoid Cunniffe and Darragh Donnelly accepted the Andy Merrigan Cup from GAA President Liam O'Neill.

The small village of Kiltoom celebrates - the celebrations have already clearly begun, with St. Brigid's goalkeeper Shane 'Cake' Curran even giving one of the match officials a celebratory hug at the full-time whistle.

Scorers:

St Brigid's: S Kilbride 1-3; K Mannion 1-2; F Dolan (1 45) 0-4; R Blaine, D Donnelly 0-1 each.

Ballymun Kickhams: D Rock (2f) 1-3; P McMahon 1-0; T Furman, J Burke, J Whelan 0-2 each; K Connolly 0-1.

ST BRIGIDS: S Curran; G Cunniffe, P Domican, J Murray; N Grehan, D Donnelly, R Stack; K Mannion, I Kilbride; D Kelleher, R Blaine, D Dolan; Cathal McHugh, S Kilbride, F Dolan. Subs: G Dolan for Kelleher (HT); E Sheehy for McHugh (46); Conor McHugh for Blaine (52); D Kelleher for Darren Dolan (58).

BALLYMUN KICKHAMS: S Currie; Eoin Dolan, S George, Enda Dolan; A Hubbard, K Connolly, J Burke; J McCarthy, P McMahon; Davy Byrne, K Leahy, J Whelan; T Furman, D Rock, E Reilly. Subs: Derek Byrne for Leahy (HT); C Weir for George (41); J Small for Reilly (50)

REFEREE: Paudie Hughes (Armagh).

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